The Obama administration cannot force a Missouri lawmaker and his family to carry health insurance that includes contraception coverage despite the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurers cover birth control, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Jean C. Hamilton said Thursday that HHS may not compel Republican state lawmaker Paul Joseph Wieland, his wife Teresa Jane Wieland or their insurer to include contraception coverage in their health plan. The ACA’s contraception mandate otherwise requires group health plans and insurers to cover contraceptives and sterilization procedures.
The Wielands had argued that as Catholics they oppose the use of contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacients. They said paying for or participating in a health plan that includes such coverage violates their religious beliefs. The Weilands receive insurance though the state’s Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan as an employment benefit.